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Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
EXPLORE JOURNAL TOPICS

Learn to Walk in Your Occupant’s Shoes, Think “Shopping Experience”

When you design an architectural space, are you concerned with how you might push or pull your occupant while they travel through it? What about when they are standing still? Your occupant’s frame of reference serves to balance them — and you, as the architect, can really play upon this factor.

In essence, you are creating a “shopping experience” for your occupant, and this can apply to more that just retail type architecture. Just as shoppers walk quickly, take their...

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Is Design Balance at Play in your Building?

Great architecture exists as a rich conversation between critical parts. I know that is fairly basic — but when you start to consider all of the parts that go into a building it sometimes can become muddled as to which parts are most important and some may be forgotten all together.

Rich Balance for the Visually Impaired Occupant

I recently came across a great model by which to think about architectural design balance. Yes, balance is more that just a visual experience. So, to take...

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Take Note when Experiencing Theater Set Design

Going to the theater is usually an invigorating experience. A good production definitely considers the orchestration of numerous stimuli…all in an effort to feed the senses. Similar to architecture, theater set design must work to create an experience with space, and often such theatrical experiences tap into so much more that just the visual sense.

For this reason, architects can learn a thing or two from good theater set design and performance.

Space Filled with Dynamic...

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Journey of Light, the Underground Building

Experiencing an underground building can be quite different from the usual above-grade architectural building types that often take light for granted.

Underground, light becomes a high commodity.

Light can be sculpted like clay underground — it can be molded, filtered and juxtaposed. Play with light in subterranean buildings can serve to guide, prepare and surprise occupants experiencing the space.

In addition, it is always an interesting experience to exit an underground...

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13 Architectural Design Questions Inspired by Paul Klee

Early on in my architectural education, Paul Klee inspired me when he wrote that “movement underlies the growth and decay of all things.” I think this quote is so true on so many levels — at whatever level of architectural expertise.

I am paraphrasing here but, I can remember this quote coming alive for me as I understood that a point “grows” to become a line just as a column “grows” to become a wall. At its most basic level, this seems to be a...

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Looking Up, What Does Your Building Write in the Sky?

How do you design the peak of your building? That moment when your building meets the sky? When it reaches the sky, what perspective do passer-bys experience? Are they awed? Do they look again? Or are they just upset because they strained their neck for nothing?

Looking Up at Your Design…From the Drawing Board

It might be interesting as an architect to consciously design so approaching occupants look up at a certain moment. Perhaps what you do with the sky becomes equally as important...

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A Recipe for Achieving a Timeless Design

Buildings change through time. Not only do their materials weather, but their intended purpose can become altered by a changing society’s or culture’s needs. So, how do you design a building that is both timely and timeless? This is an age-old question.

It is important to stay on top of the latest trends that affect building design and construction processes, but that is not all that is important.

New advances are taking place in other fields. In the sciences, for...

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Solving Design Contradictions: from Concert Halls to Hospitals

The big challenge for architects designing concert halls is to design the architectural acoustics to meet the needs of varying musical styles. (1)

WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM CONCERT HALL DESIGN

The design challenge of a concert hall is at first glance contradictory — to foster closeness and, yet, to surround listeners with the life and essence of a music’s sound.

Different levels of intimacy and aliveness vary depending on music style. What makes this even more...
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A New Era for School Architecture

WHY CHANGE NOW?

Did you know that school design has not substantially changed over the past 200 years? (1) Well, school architecture is undergoing some significant changes now, and computers are a big reason why. The following is an excerpt from Tomorrow’s Schools, by Jackie Craven, to highlight this point…

The Shape of Things To Come In tomorrow’s classrooms, students no longer need to face a podium, teacher’s desk or writing board. Learning...

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Workplace by Design

IT ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE

I discovered a site that has a thought-provoking section on workplace by design. Read this introductory quote to get you thinking about workplace design and what principles you use to create healthy and productive work environments.

The workplace today is a result of historical innovations that were designed to make the workplace a productive environment. However the world of work continues to change, and the design factors that once were helpful are...
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